American aircraft maker Boeing is expected to commence deliveries of its newest single-aisle jet B737 MAX to its Indian customers by the third quarter of the next fiscal, a senior company official said today. At present Jet Airways and SpiceJet have placed large orders for Boeing 737 MAX. As per earlier schedule, the deliveries of these planes were to start from June onwards this year. “In the third quarter we will get MAX in India, both for Jet Airways and SpiceJet,” Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ Senior Vice President (Asia Pacific and India Sales) Dinesh Keskar told reporters at an industry event here. Amit Agarwal, Jet Airways chief financial officer, during a post-earnings call last year had said that the airline was expecting the first B737 Max to be inducted in its fleet in June 2018.
Jet Airways Airways had, in 2015, announced an order for 75 Boeing 737 Max aircraft as a part of its fleet replacement strategy. In October last year, the airline chairman Naresh Goyal had said that the carrier could purchase another 75 to help it expand in the fast growing domestic market. However, Keskar said that Jet Airways should take take an early call on the order. “They should do it sooner because the more they wait, (the more) they will lose the position because of the amount of interest in the MAX. In fact, it is right now very difficult to get a position for the next three to four years,” he said. The Gurgaon-based SpiceJet too had early last year announced to acquire up to 205 new aircraft (including 55 from the 2014 order) from Boeing with the order valued at USD 22 billion.
“We have placed a large order for the Boeing 737 MAX with Boeing. The new planes start to join the fleet in the middle of 2018,” Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, SpiceJet, had said. Regarding Jet Airways’ decision to delay induction of Dreamliners, Keskar said that he expects the airline to place an order once it has reconfigured its Boeing 777 plans. The Naresh Goyal-owned airline is looking at doing away with first class seats in B777 planes in order to increase the number of seats in them as part of larger cost reduction efforts. Boeing has also made a presentation to Jet Airways about its new middle-of-the-market plane which will be an aircraft between its 787-10 and 787-8 variants, he said.
“When we make this plane, we are looking at two versions with 225-275 seats going up to 4,500-5,000 miles and that gives you a whole range of options,” Keskar said